Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Von Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin (1730-1794) to Nathanael Greene

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00140 Author/Creator: Von Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin (1730-1794) Place Written: Richmond, Virginia Type: Letter signed Date: 3 February 1781 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written by von Steuben as the senior Continental officer in Virginia to General Greene as commander in the Southern Department. References Greene's letter of 24 January 1781. Congratulates Greene on his army's recent victory at Cowpens and in the race to the Dan River. Says the traitorous General Benedict Arnold's incursions in Virginia were causing him problems and keeping him from reinforcing Greene's army. Says the troops he wanted to send off on 15 January 1781 will not be ready until 20 February 1781. Mentions changes in his command and says General Robert Lawson will relieve General Muhlenberg. Says he is to rendezvous with the calvary at Petersburg and will deliver the necessary recruits to them and make the arrangements with the government to equip them. Says number of recruits will be deficient. Mentions several other movements of troops from Fort Pitt and Bethany. Says enemy is moving toward Suffolk, Virginia. Repair where seal was removed has led to slight text loss. Address leaf is free franked by von Steuben.

People: Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin, Baron von, 1730-1794.
Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel, 1746-1807
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
Cowpens, Battle of, Cowpens, S.C., 1781
Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801.
Lawson, Robert, d. ca. 1802

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Battle, Treason, Revolutionary War, Military History, Cavalry, Recruitment

Sub Era: The War for Independence